Six-Figure Salaries with No College Degrees

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College isn’t the only path to a 6-figure salary. In fact, it barely is. The majority of college graduates have jobs that are unrelated to their education — and most of them have careers that don’t even require a degree. Sometimes, a 6-figure career only requires diligence and maybe a few skills as well as natural talent.


With nothing but your driving skills, a commercial driver’s license, and a little bit of training — you can start a career as a driver in the trucking industry. Trucker numbers are declining, both locally and internationally — making the demand for truckers a global one. Entry-level drivers can get wages of $45,000-$50,000 in their first year and the veteran truck drivers are earning up to $80,000 a year. Benefits and bonuses will put you over 6-figures — and there are a lot of them.

Due to the shortage of drivers, trucking companies are doing their utmost to attract both new and veteran drivers with higher salaries, better benefit packages, and bigger bonuses. While the top drivers easily make more than $100,000 a year in wages, a few years on the job and diligence can have you earning the same amount of money. Local truck driving jobs can help you get started and you can move on to inter-state routes once you have enough experience on your resume.

Real Estate

real estate agentArmed with your charm and charisma, you can make a killing in the real estate industry. You’ll need to complete a course on real estate, take a state exam, and work under a licensed broker for a few months — but once you get on your own, expect earnings of over $75,000 a year. If you operate in places where real estate is particularly expensive, like New York or LA, just a few sales can get you over 6-figures quickly. Selling real estate requires excellent people skills and looking presentable gives you a leg up. If you are great with people, a career in real estate should do you well.

Heavy Equipment

Operating heavy construction machinery will typically earn wages of around $60,000-$70,000. However, you can up your game by learning how to operate the gigantic cranes used in high-rise buildings. A crane operator can almost double his/her earnings when landing a big project. Large-scale construction projects will usually have 16-hour workdays, and overtime plus benefits can inflate your salary by twice or thrice the usual amount. Crane operators in New York are earning close to $500,000 a year and the trend could spread to other states if the demand for construction remains high.

Crane operators require excellent manual dexterity and vision as well as months of training. You’ll need nerves of steel to work at the heights required of you, not to mention unearthly powers of concentration to avoid mishaps. Construction accidents aren’t just costly — they could endanger lives. Make sure you have the required physical and mental fortitude before opting for a career as a crane operator.

Your dream 6-figure job isn’t that difficult to get with perseverance and hard work. Even without a college degree, the right skill sets and training can open up career paths that can help you earn your first million.

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